Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tea Parties with Daddy, kissing Alpaca's and other such stuff

I'm a little behind so this is like a big blog all rolled into one! We had a wonderful Christmas this year. Jamey and I were both off for Christmas this year. This was the first year that we've been able to be off and with our families since we graduated nursing school. It was a lot of fun. 

My sister and I have been really lucky to have our daughters so close in age. Alli is just 2 months older than Lyssie. As the babies are growing up to be big girls they are really starting to enjoy their time together. They dance and laugh and well they fight some too. Lyssie may be smaller but she can still put a beating on her big cuz! In the above picture they were dancing. You can't really tell but when all the pictures that I took are viewed together it is obvious what they are doing. They also had crazy shoes on with their onesizes. I'm so appreciative of the fact that I get to raise my daughter with my best friends daughter. Manda and I are so close and the addition of our precious daughters has just made us all that much closer. 
We also got to see Clarissa and Marky while we were in. Mark is such a sweetie! He's so happy and smiley it just melts your heart. I can't believe how much he's grown. Alyssa still moves just a tad faster than him, but he'll be out running her very soon! 
For those of you that don't know my mom has two Alpaca's that live in her backyard. Alex and Austin are pretty cute if you like that type. Alyssa has inherited Jamey's natural love for animals. She likes them all and she was happily feeding and kissing the Alpaca's while we were out at Mama's on Christmas. I think this is Austin isn't it mom? They were a little nervous about eating out of Lyssie's hand. I think mainly cause it's so small, but she got a kick out of watching them walk around. Our girls are so lucky they don't have to go to a petting zoo, they just go to Granny's house!
Lyssie got a kitchen, table and chairs and a tea set for Christmas. (amongst other things!) Since we got home she's enforced daily tea time with her daddy. It's adorable and he's a good sport about it. I'm sure you are tired of hearing it, but my husband is really a wonderful father. We are so lucky to have him. 
She does still runs over her baby with the stroller on a  regular basis but she's got tea time down pat. She'll have to serve you a cup next time you are up! It's a pretty adorable past time. 
Her G-ma got her this little apron. It's as cute as she is. She finally figured the pockets out, but be sure to check them regularly. I found my car keys securely tucked in a pocket before work this in the world did she get those????

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The many faces of Lyssie

Creative Lyssie loves to color. (She also frequently eats her crayons....)
Messy Lyssie loves to eat her food. She frequently flings food across the room. She has quite an arm on her....We recently started doing really well with our spoon and fork, but it's still much much faster to just shovel food into our mouth with our hands! This is a girl who doesn't mind a mess!
And finally Mad Messy Lyssie. I haven't gotten one of her in a full blown tantrum quite yet. She usually stops that about the time that the camera comes out!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

1st. LT Andrew James Kephart

Today Jamey took his oath as an officer in the United States Army. He will receive the rank of 1st LT. We still don't have his official date for Officer's basic training but it will probably be sometime in March. I'm very proud of him, he is doing something that he believes in and something that he feels strongly about. You can't ask for more than that. I hope that he'll wear his rank proudly and I know that he'll serve his country honorably. The first picture is Jamey with his recruiter SSGT Reyna and  below is him actually taking his oath. 

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Our bath time struggles

Once upon a time there was a darling blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl who we had to force out of the bath tub. She bathed every night and loved to stay in until her fingers and toes turned into little prunes...and then that darling girl grew up and became a toddler....

Bath time became the thing of nightmares. Overnight there was screaming and crying a skinny little baby trying to climb out of the tub. (Now at times you couldn't even get her in that bathtub. She'd enter the bathroom and the minute that the water came on she was off like a little flash pumping her little arms and legs as fast as she could in the other direction...I didn't know that someone so small could move so fast!!!!!)Jamey and I were beside ourselves. We went to bathing only every 3 days due to the trauma that bathing produced. We tried everything that you can think of, but finally my in-laws hit the method that worked....

Here's the method, which is totally ridiculous, but hey it makes bath time bearable again and we are finally back on a nightly bathing routine:
1) Take darling girl into the bathroom fully clothed
2) Turn on the water 
3) Place fully clothed darling girl into the bathtub with the water still running 
4) Hand darling girl a cup or bowl or other such object in order to catch the water
5) Make a large production of her clothes getting wet and exclaim "Oh look Alyssa, your clothes are wet! We better take those off"
6) Slowly, slowly remove clothing and diaper...slowly, slowly is the key. Make sure not to disrupt the filling and dumping of the water cup that baby girl is holding under the faucet...
7) Pray to God above that she'll not scream and try to climb out of the tub...this is the most important step in the process.
8) Lastly never ever ever try to make baby girl sit down and then wash as fast as you can!

Now the above completely ridiculous method works so don't knock it....however this "process" has driven home who rules the house and that would be our baby girl! But we are so happy that she's bathing again that we aren't complaining a bit!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Gingerbread House fun

The finished product. 

Jamey and I decided that Alyssa might like a gingerbread house...and so today we embarked on this little bit of family time. In actuality she didn't give a big hoot about it, but he and I enjoyed it. Sadly we have made one every year for the last 4 years or so. We actually had 2 gingerbread houses because the first house was a disaster! Above is house # 2 and below is house # 1. House #1 was a Spongebob Pineapple house (I wouldn't recommend purchasing this variety!) and the icing literally pooled around the thing. We took it back and then bought a more traditional variety and proceeded to make it. Alyssa didn't care much for the construction but she did enjoy eating the candy off the house and she tried to eat a little of the gingerbread as well. You can see her candy colored drool down the front of her shirt. Jamey actually did all the decorating and he did a marvelous job. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

The very best part of being a mother.....

17 months ago my darling girl entered my life. She was literally the biggest surprise that Jamey and I ever had, but I've always loved surprises, and goodness knows that we were not disappointed! The very best part of being a mother is walking through the door and being tackled by my 19 pound child who then proceeds to cover me with slobbery kisses. I don't think that I could ask for a more wonderful child. My house is a perpetual disaster, I'm forever behind on my laundry, and I've never, ever been any happier than I am right now....Motherhood is truly one of the most wonderful blessings that God gives us. It's also challenging and sometimes exhausting, but it is totally worth it. 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Prayer Request

It's 2 am and I have a lot to be thankful for this father and brother's home burned down this morning. My brother woke up due to the fire, and was able to get my father up and get both of them out of the house with minimal injuries. They are however now without a home.....please keep them in your prayers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I can cook....really!

I believe that most people consider me to be a pretty good cook....granted I can't bake at all (during my childhood I burned more cookies than I didn't). But I didn't say I was a good "baker" but a good cook. Despite this belief, two years in a row I have undercooked the poultry on holidays. Last Christmas was my first attempt at making my own home cooked Christmas feast. My dad drove up and I made turkey, dressing and all the fixings, but the turkey wasn't done and we ended up only eating the fixings. I was terribly embarassed...and since dad doesn't often get to eat my cooking I'm sure that he thought I had no idea what in the world I was doing. I did redeem myself and made some pretty darn good steaks for father's day.

Fast forward one year to today...Jamey and I both had to work. (Alyssa spent Thanksgiving with her grandparents in Sweet Home Alabama) I bought some precooked sides since my time was limited and decided to cook up some cornish game hard could that be right? Well apparently pretty hard cause yet again they weren't quite done come dinner time...and to my eternal embarassment we again enjoyed sides and no poultry while the hens went back in the oven to finish up. Jamey, being the good husband that he is, just said "Thanks hun for going to all this trouble even though you had to work." I think that we are going to forgo to traditional holiday meal in the future in favor of Papa John's pizza, unless of course someone else is cooking up the poultry....sigh well at least I tried right???? I guess it could have been worse and I could have caught the house on fire while frying up my turkey (they had 2 such incidents here in Nashville today).

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Our little Mardi Gras baby! She put this outfit together herself I might add...Bunny slippers, hat, beads, and last but not least her braclets, which are actually napkin rings...very posh!

Jamey and I had a chance to take a vacation with some good friends of ours, Shante and Nic. We met them while we were travel nursing in Phoenix, AZ and they have remained friends ever since. Shante worked with me at Banner Good Samaritian Hospital, and her husband Nic just graduated from nursing school about a month ago. We went to New Orleans and that is about the most interesting place that I have ever seen. It's wild and crazy, but there is so much historical significance, and so much beauty there as well. We met some really odd people as well. We did a few tours, had coffee and beignets at the famous Cafe Dumond, and had big steaks at Dickey Brennons Steakhouse. It was wonderful trip, and it was so good to see our friends once again. We've missed them so much since we have been away from Phoenix, it's hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years since we were there!  It's always scary to move around, but with every move, we have met some remarkable people that we count amongst our greatest friends. Shante and Nic may live miles and miles away, but they are great friends. 

We did miss our darling girl a lot while we were there, but she was busy at the grandparents learning to color all over herself. Mom had her for a night, and my in-laws had her for 2. I don't think that she had time to miss us at all with all that grandparent loving going on!! She also worked on her fashion sense while we were away...I think that unfortunately she got her fasion sense from's a sad thing indeed!! 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everyday is a new adventure....

Literally in my life! Sometimes I think that our friends and respective families think that we are like gypsies, Jamey and I, just go where life leads us. Life throws us a tricky ball and we just always seem to pick it back up and run with it. We moved a whole dreadful 2 hours away, we spent sometime travel nursing, life brought us our wonderful child....and now Jamey has thrown me for a loop so to speak. About a month ago Jamey told me that he had a desire to get back in to the military....What right??? I had the same thought. He's been out for about 9 years now, there is a war going on amongst other things. He literally got out the month that he met yours truly back in 2000. I thought that the military was a thing of our past, but he feels called to continue serving his country and wants to be a solider once again. I have made the decision to support my husbands decision to do this, and here we are in the mist of him applying to be commissioned as an officer in the United States Army Nurse Corps. His paperwork is suppose to go to the commissioning committee on December, 2nd. This will mean some big changes for our family, namely that we will be moving, but it's a step that he wants to take, and I want to support him in every way that I can. I'll keep everyone posted as we know more information.....But here are some pictures of my very handsome husband back when he was in the United States Air Force.  

Friday, November 14, 2008

Filling Daddy's shoes.....

Lyssie has recently become obsessed with her Daddy's shoes. She loves to put them on and try to stomp around the house in them. It's pretty adorable, but she usually ends up tripping over those big clunky shoes of his, which then leads to her laughing and restarting the entire process. I'm very grateful that I married a man that she will be able to look up to. That through the years will be a good role model for her and any other children that we will be blessed to have. It is a true joy to be able to watch as these two pieces of her heart interact together. I know that one day she will indeed get closer to filling these shoes of his, that they will no longer be quite as big or near as clunky, that she'll walk easier in these shoes that are now as big as her leg and I know that he'll always be someone that she is very proud to call her Daddy. However scary and tattooed he may be....he's still her soft hearted, most wonderful father. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Grocery Shopping Adventures....

As much as I love my little one, I absolutely HATE taking her to the grocery store! Once upon a time she contently sat in her little infant seat and cooed adoringly at all that passed by, now however she wants down! She wants cookies and she likes to "inspect" everything that goes into the cart. Her very adoring father taught her (much to my dismay I might add) to push the grocery cart. It is very cute I admit, but mommy is unable to effectively grocery shop and keep said adorable blonde headed, blued child from smashing the grocery cart into everything and everyone in her path without dad there to supervise this task. 

Dad has had his own experiences taking his little princess shopping. Recently he vowed he would never shop with her again after a very dramatic fit over a Moon Pie in the gas stationed. She wanted it, he took it away and the theatrics began....needless to say that Alyssa did leave the gas station with her Moon Pie firmly in hand. Jamey said "Somethings in life aren't worth fighting for, and that $0.50 Moon Pie wasn't one of them today." Of note she didn't even like the Moon Pie.

Sigh Shopping isn't quite as much fun as it used to be.....but I wouldn't have it any other way....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fairies and Biker Babes

Halloween is a huge deal in my mother's family. Every year my Aunt Lisa gets her rather large group of rowdy nieces and nephews together for some good old fashioned trick or treating. We have been doing this for longer than I  can remember. It's huge fun, and even more so now that I have my own little goblin to join in the fun. Last year Amanda and I subjected the girls to a little penguin fun, but this year Alyssa was a "Biker Babe" and Allison was tinkerbell. Billy always dresses up as well. I'm glad that I have such a wonderful family to share these memories with. 
My little hard core biker and I prior to trick or treating! The biker idea was her dad's idea, notice the tat on her arm? She hated the application by the way! She had a ton of fun with the trick or treating though...Candy!! She loves the stuff!
Cute huh??? I know I know! 
Biker babe, Tink and their Granny. Alyssa would not keep the skull cap on despite mom and my very best efforts!!!! I can't wait until next year!

Bubbles with Daddy

I took these a couple of weeks ago while we were outside with Alyssa and I just got around to uploading them, while looking at them I realized there are a few things that I am really truly grateful my family is at the very top of the list. I count myself so lucky to have met and married a truly remarkable man, who tolerates all the little annoying aspects of my personality and who is also a wonderful father. He happily spends time outside blowing bubbles with his "baby girl" as he calls her, until she is completely tired of doing it. He's truly devoted to she and I and we are so very lucky to have him. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

4 wheeling it!

Recently we went to Opry Mills Mall and Alyssa had her eye on this shiny red 4-wheeler. She just kept reaching her hand out and saying "Me! Me! Me!" Of course her adventuresome papa had to help her climb right on for a quick picture. He thinks that one day he'll have a motorcycle with a sidecar for baby girl...we will see about that! LOL!